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This week started with great excitement and anticipation for our Year 5 pupils as they had their first experience of life in Senior School! They enjoyed a busy and fun day being taught by our specialist Senior School teachers in Science, Performing Arts, Creative Arts and PE. The staff were really impressed by the curiosity and perceptive questions displayed by Year 5 as well as the warm welcome they extended to the prospective pupils who are beginning the process of applying to join the senior school. We are delighted to be heavily over-subscribed for entry at Year 7 (with over two applicants for every place) and we hope that you see this, as we do, as an endorsement of the support you have given to the school as parents. We look forward to several more of these events during the Autumn Term, ahead of our Scholarship and Assessment Day for Year 7 entry in September 2023!

Also, at the start of the week, Year 8 enjoyed a busy few days in London for their residential trip. After the lure of the high street and some obligatory shopping, the pupils were privy to a real treat as they were given a backstage tour of the National Theatre. After a quick refuel of pizza, on Monday evening they attended the Shaftesbury Theatre for a stunning performance of & Juliet, featuring exceptional music, dancing and a fresh interpretation of Shakespeare’s original love story!

On Tuesday, the Year 12 Chemists had an incredible trip to the University of Oxford Chemistry Teaching Labs, a brand new development with state-of-the-art labs and equipment. The students enjoyed using the facilities to carry out an organic synthesis method to create different esters, which are chemicals that have interesting smells used in perfumes and flavourings. This was a brilliant day, putting into practice some of the theory they have already worked on and they also enjoyed hearing from PhD students about their university experience.

Ever a highlight of the summer term, we have had a glorious two days of Sports Day for all pupils in school. In a joyful display of enjoyment, Nursery pupils kicked off our festival of sport on Wednesday morning, putting into practice running, the egg and spoon and the sack race, all the while cheered on by parents, Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils. On Wednesday afternoon, it was our Junior pupils who took to the track, enjoying the superb facilities at the Wallingford Sports Park and demonstrating some truly incredible sporting ability. Finally, yesterday our Senior pupils took centre stage in a hugely successful day of events at Horspath in Oxford. I was really proud of all the pupils and the balance of competition, fun and support for each other they achieved. Sports day is such an enjoyable and important day of the school year and this year was particularly important as school life returns to normal. Thank you to all the parents who came along to support and we hope you enjoy looking at these photos as much as we have!

Have a good weekend and let's hope the sun stays out!

Dr James Raymond